Saturday, October 01, 2005

Serenity Saturday Supplemental - You can't take the sky from me

My first Serenity post of the day was written as soon as I got home from the movie, when I was so jazzed by the experience that I was totally fixated on conveying my feelings without having to censor myself to avoid spoiling it for others. I then promptly crashed, the adrenalin and sugar-high having worn off.

Now, after some sleep, I can talk about the overall film-going experience.

As usual, I made it to the theater much earlier than necessary, so I sat in the Movie Tavern lobby with my notebook and started sketching out my "cast of characters" list. The Lightbulbs called to tell me they were going to be running a bit late, so when they started seating for the movie I went on in to make sure I got us reasonably good seats, having no clue what the turn-out would be like. One advantage of getting there early was that I got my dinner ordered and almost totally finished by the time the movie started.

While waiting for the Lightbulbs to show up, I overheard a girl in the row behind me making several Firefly-fanatic style comments, and I couldn't help but chuckle each time, especially since the two friends she had apparently dragged to the theater with her had never seen the show at all. At one point she asked "Am I a dork for wanting the movie to start already?" I, who less than 30 minutes earlier had had a conversation with Papa L. about being sad that I didn’t have any brown to wear to the film, turned around and said "Not at all."

A brief aside: one of my favorite aspects of the whole Firefly phenomenon has been watching the conversion of Papa L. into a fervent Browncoat, which, if you haven't realized by now, is the name the most outgoing Firefly fans have given themselves. I wasn't really surprised by the Firefly love from most of The Parkerites and Book Monkeys, since most of them already shared my SF/Fantasy leanings, but passing the DVDs on to Papa L. was a calculated risk, since I knew that, outside of the Star Wars and Matrix films, he had the average person's anti-SF leanings. After he grudgingly agreed to give the show a try, I braced myself for my first failure at Firefly conversion. So, when a week or so later he announced in front of all The Singles that Firefly was one of the best shows he'd ever seen, I let out a huge sigh of relief.

The Lightbulbs made it to the theater just in time for the trailers to start up. Highlight of the trailers was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which I swear gives me chills every time I see it. Then, the lights dimmed, and the Universal logo came up on the screen, and I made a little "oooooooo" sound that made Papa L. laugh. The logo disappeared, a shot of Earth from outer space popped up on screen, a voiceover started to talk about "Earth that was" . . . and then the film stuttered, slowed down, and the screen went totally black.

Frustrated Browncoats throughout the theater cried out in frustration, while Mama L., who had been making fun of Papa L. and me for our geekiness, began laughing like crazy. Luckily they got the film up and running within a minute or so, before the rioting could begin, so we only missed out a little of the beginning narration. From that point on, other than the distraction of the waiters ranging through the theater, I was totally sucked in.

Mama L. said afterwards that she thought the movie did a really good job of setting everything up so that even folks who'd never seen Firefly could enjoy the movie, which was nice to hear. I know that my total enjoyment of the film was closely tied in to my already having a huge love for the characters, so there's a part of me that's afraid that my earlier gushing about the film in the non-spoilery part of my last post might end up over-hyping the film a bit for the uninitiated. I would hate to torpedo someone’s experience by raising their expectations too high.

But, I couldn't help it. This was one of the best movie-going experiences I've had in ages; I was literally bouncing up and down on my walk to my car, thinking to myself over and over "This movie rocked. It rocked hard!" This was one of those occasions where I really missed living near the other Book Monkeys, because I really wanted to sit down and dissect the film with them much like we had dissected X-Men, Moulin Rouge, Jason X, Magnolia, Star Wars eps. I-III, etc. Took much willpower not to call up The Wiz going "Did ya see it? Did ya? Huh? Huh? Did ya?" I’m insanely curious how others have reacted; so far I’ve only heard from a couple of people, and they were also blown away by the film, but they were also already Firefly fans. Looking forward to hearing more feedback from y’all, so comment away, just please be spoiler conscious.

Oh, my one real complaint about the film: the lack of the theme song! I was looking forward oh so much to singing along at the top of my lungs and embarrassing all around me :

Take my love
Take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care
I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Oh, well, maybe in the sequel . . .